CA Tech's Nimsoft freemium play 'paying' off
By Gabey Goh February 6, 2014
- 30% of over 5,000 downloads of freemium IT monitoring tool came from APAC
- Hunger for more flexible, easy to use management solutions evident, CA claims
IN late January, CA Technologies released a statement saying that over 5,000 customers have downloaded its CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap solution since its release in October 2013.
Companies which downloaded the freemium edition of the company’s IT monitoring platform included small and medium businesses (SMBs), Fortune 1000 companies and IT service providers spanning 147 countries.
CA Technologies also introduced a new version of Nimsoft Monitor Snap that provides monitoring for a broader range of IT resources, including Citrix CloudPlatform and VMware vCloud, and a free mobile app that allows IT staff to keep an eye on the health of their infrastructure from both iOS and Android devices.
Indmar Marine Engines, the world's largest privately held manufacturer of gasoline-powered, inboard marine engines, is now using CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap as its primary IT monitoring tool, replacing Spiceworks.
Kris Kirby, its IT manager, reported that the solution was easy to install and immediately gave the team insight into issues that thay hadn’t noticed with Spiceworks that “could have caused significant business disruption.”
“We find the dashboards in CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap more usable than what we had to work with in Spiceworks, with fewer false positives and more monitoring configuration options,” Kirby added in a statement issued by CA Technologies.
CA technologies also reported that 4,000 members have flocked to its online community CA Snap Central, and over 60 CA Technologies partners are now also promoting the product to their own customers.
“We are extremely gratified to see our vision for a free, robust and complete enterprise-class IT monitoring solution embraced so quickly by such a diverse range of customers,” said Stephen Miles (pic), vice president, Service Assurance, Asia Pacific and Japan, CA Technologies.
In an email interview with Digital News Asia (DNA), Miles shared that 30% of the downloads came from Asia Pacific-based companies of all sizes, across the banking, manufacturing, higher education and other industries.
“For example, large to mid-sized companies are either using it at the departmental level or have engaged CA Technologies to look at CA Nimsoft Monitor. Many SMBs have also made CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap their de facto tool for IT monitoring.
“Most industries require an enterprise grade monitoring solution and CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap has become their go-to solution as a start,” he added.
As the release of Nimsoft Monitor Snap is a first for the company, when asked what have been the key lessons or takeaways to date, Miles said that it is clear that the market is hungry for management solutions that are much easier to evaluate, acquire and deploy than traditional enterprise management solutions.
“New times call for new solutions and advances in management technology are enabling vendors to deliver solutions that are a much better fit with the emerging enterprise management market.
“By adopting these solutions, departmental users can continue the ongoing trend of empowerment and reduced dependence on corporate IT,” he added.
When asked what the rate of conversion was for companies upgrading to the paid version of the solution, Miles said the company’s primary objective is to get CA Nimsoft technology into the hands of customers which need it, and to build a community of IT professionals who are successfully meeting their challenge of ensuring critical service levels to end-users despite resource constraints.
“We are fulfilling that objective. We will talk about conversions as they start to happen in significant numbers,” he said.
Responding to DNA's queries via email, Michael Barnes (pic), vice president and research director at Forrester Research said that the firm still believes the freemium structure will appeal to Asia Pacific organisations with limited resources which are nonetheless keen to embark on the path towards private cloud enablement and ‘as-a-service’ capabilities.
“However, this mainly applies in the consumer space and for project-based initiatives, such as application development. In the near term, we do not expect demand for freemium enterprise solutions to be higher in the Asia Pacific region versus other regions.
“This is mainly due to limited awareness of these solutions and concerns over viability at the enterprise level, where training and support will likely be necessary given limited IT resources and skills,” he added.
Barnes said that the key challenge for enterprise vendors venturing into freemium business models to convert more users into paying customers, is encouraging consistent usage by ensuring products are intuitive and easy to adopt.
“Which in turn will drive an increase in perceived value within the organisation, and hence spur a willingness to invest further in terms of both time, effort and licences,” he added.
CA’s Miles said that the company will continue to invest in CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap, which uses the same code base as CA Nimsoft Monitor, and have regular releases of both products.
The company will also continue to build a vibrant community of users through Snap Central as it will be instrumental in guiding the product development roadmap.
When asked if the successful launch and market reception for Nimsoft Monitor Snap means that that company will now be offering more of its current portfolio on a freemium basis, Miles said: “We are unable to disclose this due to our corporate policy, but we do have great ideas in the pipeline.”
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